Thanks to those who joined us for our Ask the Expert conversation with Jody Thompson, founder of CultureRx and the Results-Only Work Environment™ (ROWE™) system as well as co-author of the best-selling book Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It. This was a lively conversation that had us diving into the principles of working in a ROWE and how we can all emerge from this global pandemic better, stronger and more engaged with our work.
Here is a link to the full conversation and these were my 3 big takeaways:
1.) Curious, Confident, Courageous Leaders Need Only Apply
When it comes to upending a hierarchical workplace that’s been built of the back of the “punch clock” industrial revolution, it’s going to take some guts. To reinvent how we work, we need to check and challenge some deeply held beliefs. The biggest belief being that, to get work done, you need to be physically in a workplace to be productive. If we switched our focus from managing time to managing outcomes and results, we would eliminate a host of workplaces ills (think ineffective meetings, abandoned projects, general time-wasters) that drag down motivation and engagement.
2.) Go Viral
One of the biggest myths around change is that we need to start at the top and run it down the hierarchy. When it comes to reinventing workplaces, think more about how you can start “smart mobs” of change agents. As leaders, create the environment that you want to work with and notice how you ‘pull’ others along with you. It IS possible to create results-only cultures within your team and watch it spread like a virus (in a good way!).
3. ) Don’t Be a Cherry Picker
The Results-Only Work Environment that Jody has developed is an integrated and complex system. Organizations stumble when they cherry pick the parts that feel easy. ‘Let’s give everyone unlimited vacation!’ is going to create sheer chaos without the underpinning of a culture that’s 100% focused on outcomes and deliverables. From our experience at the Roundtable, one of the biggest shifts you have to make to adopt ROWE is within your own mindset. Getting rid of the “sludge” that holds us back from really stepping into 100% accountability and autonomy is critical to success and, from my perspective, the most crucial step.
If you’re interested in exploring if you’re organization is ready to go ROWE, check out this quick assessment. To learn more about the amazing results ($200m in savings!!) that Jody shared about CMHC’s experience adopting ROWE, go here.